The Weird Historical Reason Men Used to Call Women ‘Bicycle Face’

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Unfortunately, there are a lot of derogatory words that mean “loose woman”.

This is a family website, so we can’t name them all here. (But you know what they are, especially if you’re a woman because you’ve probably heard them a thousand times.)

Misogyny is nothing new. Throughout history and in most civilizations, women have not been equal to men.

The unfair double standard that it’s totally fine for a man to have lots of sex and enjoy it but a woman who does the same should be shunned and called a series of nasty names has been around as long as…well, let’s see: how long ago were Adam and Eve around? The beginning of creation?

The general sentiment may not have changed (although, hopefully, it’s getting better), but the names people have called women certainly have. We may easily recognize misogynistic insults of today but would be completely baffled by the things women have been called throughout history as times, fashions, and history has changed.

But if you called a woman a “strumpet” now, they would probably be more confused than angry. Are you calling them a baked good? Or a musical instrument? The word, which was powerful at the time, has lost its meaning in the 21st century.

Which sounds more like a cute woodland creature than an insult to our modern ears.

Um, what? The insult sounds confusing at first, women don’t exactly look like bicycles. Article Group explained why an insult that sounds kind of harmless and honestly, not even very well thought out, actually has a very important and interesting place in history and women’s liberation.

The bicycle was invented in 1817, but it took a little while for them to catch on. Riding bicycles didn’t become really popular until the 1870s, probably because they were easier to ride once people stopped making the old-timey bikes with one giant front wheel and one tiny back wheel.

This may come as a shock, but those bikes, called penny-farthers, were not super easy to ride.

…a fake phenomenon because obviously “bicycle face” isn’t real. What the article describes just sounds like how someone’s face looks when they exercise, which we all know if not the most attractive face, but it doesn’t stick that way.

Not only would they be permanently ugly from bicycle face (the horror!), they also might suffer reproductive damage. And secretly use the bike to pleasure themselves?! Any women who has ever been in a spin class can tell you there is definitely not a ton of pleasure going on down there.

Women liked biking just as much as men


But as Article Group mentions: there was a problem! It’s pretty hard to ride a bike in a giant dress and petticoats.

Women in pants! What’s next? Will they demand to have jobs and…be able to vote?

But that would mean they were equal to men!

The rest of her quote reads, ” I rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a bike. It gives her a feeling of self-reliance and independence the moment she takes her seat; and away she goes, the picture of untrammelled womanhood.”

But riding a bike was the fastest and easiest way to travel short distances in the 1800s because they couldn’t exactly call an Uber.

Who needs Hinge when you have gears, pedals, and handlebars?

And they could do it out in the open. And if they weren’t having a great time? A bike is a great way to get away fast.

After all, they don’t exactly find you a date (unless you have a really smart bike).

Men were threatened by women’s newfound freedom, zooming around the countryside on their bicycles. Maybe even without a man!

And, of course, threatening that they would look ugly because of their hobby. Which is the worst thing a woman could be, right?

If you’ve ever been a woman on a dating app (or really anywhere on the internet), it probably does.

And that made men mad. And still makes men mad. Want to bet there are men who are mad in the comments of this article? I haven’t even finished writing it yet and I already know there will be.

And the faster the decision, the easier it is for women to decide against something a man wants. That’s power, and it’s scary, especially if your sex has had all the power for as long as women were being blamed for eating forbidden apples.

And women can bike fast. But if they’re told biking makes their faces ugly for some weird, medically unsound reason, maybe they’ll slow down.

But women haven’t stopped riding bikes. And strangely, none of them have developed facial deformities because of it.

Go fast!

The founder wanted people to see as many profiles as quickly as possible.

They weren’t stuck anymore. And the power was in their hands.

And dating apps also have changed the way we date: giving even more power to women.

There could be too much speed and not enough time spent on each person.

A new meaning to RBF!